The roof over your head may be something you barely think about it until it has a problem.
For commercial buildings, a great deal of planning and foresight needs to go into the roofing because the safety and wellbeing of many people inside are usually at stake. The roof is the first line of defence against the elements and you need to get it right.
But roofing systems vary greatly in the materials used and the quality of the workmanship. The roof is no place for shortcuts or shoddy workmanship.
Choosing a reliable and effective roofing contractor is, therefore, key to the success of any commercial building project in Calgary. Here we look at what you need to consider before appointing your contractor and the common mistakes to avoid…
How to select the best roofing contractor in Calgary
Whether you need a roofing contractor for a retail building, large or small industrial building, new offices/office tower or for condominiums and apartment buildings, there is no substitute for researching the types of materials, methods, and expertise you need.
You can start searching online. Simply typing in “commercial roofing contractors in Calgary” will throw up several good starting places. But you will need to dig deeper and go beyond Google. After all, every roofing contractor will make big claims.
You will need to research individual contractors, what people are saying about them, and how they stand up to their claims.
That’s the only way to tell the difference between truly skilled commercial roofing contractors and the frauds out there. After all, roofing is no place to take a gamble on that.
7 tips for choosing a good roofing contractor
Check for the correct licenses and certifications
Request proof that the roofing contractor is a legitimate business before hiring. Ask for their tax identification number, business address, email address, and contact phone number and verify all details.
Also, request proof of the business’s license details and any certification they have been awarded. Membership of the Alberta Roofing Contractor Association is generally a positive sign that the contractor can be trusted to provide high-quality work.
Check the safety record of the contractor
The safety record of your roofing contractor is one of the key indicators of their professionalism.
A Workplace Safety COR designation in Alberta means that the contractor is recognized for its health and safety record and that it meets established standards. This should be an important consideration before hiring.
If subcontractors are to be used on the project, ensure that they also abide by the safety rules and follow the safe work practices and safe job procedures of the main roofing contractor.
Ensure that they have the appropriate insurance
In the event of an accident or damage to the building during the installation of your roof, you need to ensure that your roofing contractor has the following:
- Worker’s compensation insurance in case of injury on the job
- General liability insurance in case of damage to the property during the roofing installation
- Get written estimates of the real costs
The costs involved in a commercial roofing project will always be a major factor in your decision. If it seems too good to be true, it probably is.
All estimates should be in writing. Make sure that you get at least three quotes. Ensure that there are no hidden costs or hidden reasons why one contractor can seemingly do the job for much less than another.
An insured and licensed professional using high-quality materials and providing a team of skilled roof fitters will naturally incur more overheads than a fly-by-night operator—and you should expect them to charge more for a job well done.
Ask about warranties
A professional and reliable commercial roofing contractor will back itself with generous warranties. Check these out early in discussions to see what will be provided for your project.
Concerns over the durability of the roof are natural. It’s a huge component of the building investment after all.
The promise of a lengthy warranty should ease your concerns when you first scope the project. If it is not offered, you might want to move on to the next contractor.
Be patient, educate yourself, and choose the best
Taking the time to research roofing contractors and educate yourself about the commercial roofing installation process can help you choose the right contractor and minimize your risks.
You should vet your contractor and request references. Call each of the references and ensure that the claims made by the contractor are true. Ask plenty of questions before committing. You should also be able to view completed roofing projects in the local area.
Get a proper contract in writing
It should go without saying for a commercial project but all roofing work must be covered within the terms of a formal contract outlining the following details:
- The scope of work
- Payment schedules
- The precise roofing materials to be used
- A timescale for the work (at least a start and end date)
- A list of subcontractors that will work on the project
- How old roofing materials will be disposed of (if the roof is being replaced)
- How the existing property and grounds will be protected
- How the neighbouring properties (if applicable) will be protected
- How the worksite will be cleaned up
REQUEST A CONSULTATION
Avoid these common mistakes when choosing a roofing contractor in Calgary
Once you’ve signed the paperwork, it’s too late. If you have chosen the wrong roofing contractor, it can be a costly mistake.
Typically, when we’ve been asked to come in and fix up a roofing job that has gone wrong from another contractor, the project manager has made one of the following three common mistakes:
Basing a decision mainly on price
There is no dispute that price is important in any commercial roofing project but it’s also essential to compare like with like when assessing services.
Getting three quotes and going with the cheapest is fine if the cheapest quote also provides a comparable level of service to the others. Generally, the best roofing contractors hire the best professionals and use the best materials and part of these costs will be passed on to the client.
Hiring an unlicensed or uninsured roofing company
It is a major mistake to assume that the contractor you hire has the necessary license and insurance required to complete your roofing project.
You should request proof of the necessary documentation before giving the go-ahead.
Getting caught out with additional costs
Some project managers have been caught out because they did not get a written estimate covering all of the costs (labour, materials, and other cost breakdowns).
The job starts, it takes longer than expected and, to make matters worse, a series of add-ons inflates the overall cost of the job.
If you have a commercial roofing project for which you are seeking a contractor, speak to a United Roofing professional. Book a free online consultation to discuss your options or call (403) 870-2753.